DrillOrDrop’s June 2017 digest of news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily. For headlines from previous months, click here
26 June 2017
UKOG successfully recovers rock core from Broadford Bridge oil well – but fails to attend public meeting. DrillOrDrop report
Angus applies for retrospective permission for Brockham well site in Surrey – but not for drilling. DrillOrDrop report
Eight-person lock-on at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site. DrillOrDrop’s Protest update 26 June-2 July 2017
What’s happening this week? 26 June-2 July 2017. DrillOrDrop events listing about UK fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.
Labour is set to bring forward a bill aimed at banning fracking in Scotland. STV reports Scottish Labour environment spokeswoman Claudia Beamish now intends to press ahead with a member’s bill to outlaw fracking. She said: “The SNP has repeatedly failed to ban onshore fracking in Scotland – so Labour will do it.” Ms Beamish added: “The climate science is irrefutable. Scotland does not need a new fossil fuel as we shift towards a low-carbon economy.” The Scottish government has yet decided whether to make its moratorium permanent. Energy Voice, Glasgow Evening Times, Scotsman, and The National
YP Letters: Like Grenfell, fracking puts profits first. Peter Williams, writing to The Yorkshire Post says there are parallels between the imposition of fracking in Ryedale and people living in Grenfell Tower. He says: “our interests come second when there’s money to be made”. Ian Conlan, also writing in the same edition, said “Residents in the tower repeatedly said they feared a disaster before they were listened to. This is what we fear in Ryedale, a disaster to our health as the latest research shows substantial increases in child deaths in fracked areas in Pennsylvania, USA. It’s time fracking is stopped now before it is too late.”
25 June 2017
Fracking meeting – you know the drill. The Observer quotes DrillOrDrop in a piece on a public meeting in Lytham St Annes on Tuesday organised by Mike Hill.
24 June 2017
France to ban all new oil and gas exploration in renewable energy drive. The Independent reports that France is to stop granting licences for oil and gas exploration as part of a transition towards environmentally-friendly energy being driven by Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Saturday Review: Do we really want to see oil fields in rural Sussex? Balcombe campaigner, Kathryn McWhirter, writing in The Argus, asks: “Are we sleepwalking into an oilfield? The oil industry hopes we are. So do the Conservatives. If they get their way, there will be wells across the Weald, with West Sussex the prime target.”
23 June 2017
August date for next round in legal battle over ministerial approval of fracking in Lancashire. DrillOrDrop report
North Lincolnshire planners back Wressle oil production plans – again. DrillOrDrop report on recommendation to approve planning application
Drone pictures raise concerns over surface water at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site. DrillOrDrop report.
Oil seeps from Kimmeridge Limestone core samples at Broadford Bridge Kimmeridge exploration well. UKOG issues a statement to investors that mobile light oil has been observed seeping from open natural fractures in Kimmeridge Limestone core samples from the Broadford Bridge exploration well. West Sussex County Times
Highland MP appointed energy spokesman in new Westminster line-up. Energy Voice reports Drew Hendry has been made the SNP’s energy spokesman in the front bench team led by Ian Blackford.
22 June 2017
“Government’s extension of gas exploration licence was unlawful”, court told. DrillOrDrop report on judicial review
Live updates: Day 2 Leith Hill camp eviction. DrillOrDrop report
Call for permanent ban on fracking in Scotland in wake of new US study. The National reports that Professor Andrew Watterson, chair in health effectiveness at the University of Stirling, has called on the Scottish Government to make its moratorium on fracking permanent, following a critical report on the practice in Texas which found that it pollutes the air, erodes soil and contaminates water.
21 June 2017
Bailiffs begin eviction of protection camp at site earmarked by Europa for oil exploration near Leith Hill. Protectors have locked-on inside tunnels under the camp. DrillOrDrop live updates
No fracking references in Queen’s Speech. DrillOrDrop report on government’s legislative programme.
Revealed: Scottish ministers’ meetings with fracking firm. The Ferret reports that senior Scottish ministers held private meetings with INEOS and Grangemouth executives from China five times in 13 months. The purpose of the meetings have been kept secret but briefings suggest the government’s consultation on the fracking industry was on the agenda, the Ferret says.
Court date set for Fylde Greenpeace Protesters. The Blackpool Gazette reports that ten Greenpeace protesters are to stand trial on 1 November after appearing before the town’s magistrates court.
Revealed: Harrington to become 19th energy minister in as many years. Energy Voice reports that Richard Harrington is to become the new energy minister, replacing Jesse Norman, who has moved to transport.
20 June 2017
Yorkshire fracking company receives official warning for incorrect emissions data. DrillOrDrop report on Third Energy permit breach – also posted on DeSmogUK. North Yorkshire Advertiser (19/6/2017), Gazette and Herald (21/6/2017)
INEOS shale gas plans at Harthill open for comment – key details on the application. DrillOrDrop report
House of Lords publishes Queen’s Speech briefings. Briefings for the debate on day 2 (26 June) and day 3 (27 June) refer to plans to change the planning system for shale gas exploration and fracking. Queen’s Speech Day 2 briefing 26 June 2017 and Queen’s Speech Day 3 briefing 27 June 2017. House of Commons information on the Queen’s Speech and debates
Closure of UK’s largest gas storage site ‘could mean volatile prices. The Guardian reports The closure of the UK’s largest gas storage plant has prompted warnings that the country faces more volatile winter gas prices and is becoming too dependent on energy imports. British Gas’s owner, Centrica, said it was permanently closing the Rough facility off the Yorkshire coast because it had become unsafe and uneconomic to reopen the facility, which had been temporarily shut over safety fears.
UKOOG responds to closure announcement of Rough gas storage facility. Reuters and others report the announcement by Centrica that it is closing the Rough gas storage facility in East Yorkshire. Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said in response:
“The solution for the UK in the medium term cannot be to transport gas across oceans and continents. The UK needs to ensure that whatever gas replaces that from Rough comes from sources that can deliver the same high levels of environmental and regulatory standards. Only the development of the UK’s onshore resources just a mile under our feet can do this, simultaneously maximising the employment and economic benefits that come with producing our energy at home.”
Coring operations begin at Broadford Bridge. UK Oil and Gas Investments told investors this morning it had begun coring operations at its well at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex. The first coring point was at 4,013 ft (1,223m) just above the Kimmeridge Limestone 4, the first reservoir target. The company added that downhole natural gas levels increased steadily throughout the Kimmeridge section, with the nonset of wet gas shows (butane and pentane) just above the coring point.
Energy company responds to fracking fears of residents. The Champion reports that Aurora Energy Resources has not finalised plans for its licence area PEDL262 covering Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Bickerstaffe. Managing director, Ian Roche, tells the paper:
“The initial phase of exploration in PEDL262 will comprise the acquisition a new 3D geophysical survey, aimed at providing a state-of-the-art image of the subsurface. The acquisition of such surveys is a fairly routine activity in the UK, with over 75,000 km of 2D and over 3,000 km2 of 3D geophysical surveys having been acquired here since the 1960s. We have not yet finalised plans as to the likely location or timing of this work in PEDL262. Aurora will of course contact local elected representatives and parish councils once these plans are more developed.
“Three historic exploration wells have been drilled in the licence area in the 1940s and 50s (by BP). These wells have long been successfully abandoned and the sites restored.
“Interestingly, one of these wells (Upholland-G1) was drilled in what is now the centre of Skelmersdale. Whilst these wells form useful geological data points they have no bearing on the location of any future wells. Similarly, they are unconnected to any future geophysical survey. This information was communicated to the local opposition group following an enquiry in April.”
YP Letters: Election outcome may save us from fracking. Steven White, writing in The Yorkshire Post, says:
“The chaotic national election result may well protect us from Tory manifesto pledges to water down regulations so that a two acre exploratory well pad with six to nine months of construction and drilling could pop up anywhere and would need as little planning permission as putting up a garden shed. Not to mention a promise (yes, a promise!) to take any subsequent decision on fracking out of local hands.”
19 June 2017
60-tonne lorry to deliver equipment along sunken lane to drilling site near Leith Hill – traffic plan. DrillOrDrop report on Bury Hill Wood proposals
Countryside campaigners toughen policy on fracking and call for a moratorium. DrillOrDrop report
What’s happening this week? 19-25 June 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry
Six-person lock-on outside an equipment supplier in Preston in protest at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site. DrillOrDrop protest update
Asking the wrong questions on energy. Bloomberg reports that the energy debate should have as a starting point what sources are available, then calculate their sustainability and shape demand around those constraints. “It may mean properly pricing the cost of energy, taking into account long-term effects (such as depletion) and by-products (such as carbon emissions)”.
Council prepares to deal with first fracking related application. Rotherham Business News reports on INEOS’s planning application for shale gas exploration at Harthill.
Shale’s record fracklog could force crude prices even lower. Bloomberg reports there were 5,946 drilled but uncompleted wells in US oil fields at the end of May, the highest number for at least three years. It could mean a burst of new supply in the second half of the year and into 2018, according to analysts.
Carbon capture needed in climate change fight, IEA says. Reuters reports comments by the International Energy Agency that carbon capture and storage is crucial to limit global warming.
18 June 2017
Dirty money: Scots councils under fire for fracking funds. Herald Scotland reports 10 Scottish local authority pension funds have invested more than £400m in 23 fracking companies. A new report by Friends of the Earth Scotland discloses council pension investments in Shell, BP, Exxon, Chevron, Occidental and many other companies it says are involved in fracturing underground rocks to extract shale gas. Energy Voice, Edinburgh News
Study of oil and gas drilling finds pollution and connections to earthquakes. The Houston Chronicle reports on a study by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, which concluded that oil and gas drilling in the state pollutes the air, erodes soil and contaminates water, while the disposal of millions of gallons of wastewater causes earthquakes. Daily Signal (Study finds fracking doesn’t harm drinking water in Texas – 19/6/2017)
Fracking: “We argued and protested. We met at marts and concerts. We persisted and we succeeded. Scott Cooombs, a member of Love Leitrim, writes in The Journal, about how the group secured a ban on fracking in Ireland.
17 June 2017
Fracking rig site revealed. Rotherham Advertiser reports on the application site for INEOS’s planned shale gas exploration well. Rotherham Politics (Plans submitted for fracking test well – 16/6/2017)
YP Letters: Vote was not endorsement of fracking. Michael Farman, writing to The Yorkshire Post, discounts claims in letters by Lorraine Allanson and Graham Marshall that Conservative wins in the general election represented support for fracking. He says:
“It is absurd to demonise us as extremists, or claim that we are being controlled by some sinister organisation from London. If there is any extremism, it is from an industry that is gung-ho to impose fracking on populations who do not want this polluting industry anywhere in the UK.”
YP letters. Wendy Cross, writing to The Yorkshire Post, refers to MP Kevin Hollinrake’s aim, when first elected in 2015, to fight “tooth and nail” against industrialisation of his constituency. She says: “to effect this he could do no better than join the vibrant anti-fracking movement.”
Anti-fracking photocall at the Major Oak in Nottinghamshire. DrillOrDrop protest update.
16 June 2017
INEOS treat: stash of asset stripped fracking equipment found in Cheshire. Frack Off reports that it has confirmed that the largest set of fracking equipment in Europe has made its way to INEOS and is now in Cheshire at a former ICI site now owned by the company.
Scottish Government fracking consultation attracts 60,000 responses. Herald Scotland and Energy Voice report that the fracking consultation received double the number of responses generated by the consultation on the original independence referendum. The figure was revealed at First Minister’s question, in response to Scottish Green MSP, Patrick Harvie. The record remains 77,500 for a listening exercise in 2011 on same-sex marriage.
Drilling update on Broadford Bridge. UK Oil and Gas Investments plc announces it has drilled and cased-off the 12 ¼ inch hole section of the Broadford Bridge exploration well. Drilling has reached more than 830m and is now drilling the 8 ½ inch hole.
Food and Water Watch founder, Wenonah Hauter: “This is a long-term battle not just about fracking”. US campaigner, Wenonah Hauter, tells DeSmog UK Fracking is not just about shale gas, “it’s about how we’ve lost our political power”, she tells me between mouthfuls of a Greek salad she’s squeezing in between two of many public meetings she’s been invited to in a short tour across the UK.
15 June 2017
Fracking impractical in the UK, says campaigner who secured bans in the US. DrillOrDrop report
What is in the water? UKOG reveals make up of its drilling fluid. Proactive Investors reports on publication of drilling fluid by UKOG for its well at Broadford Bridge. The fluids being used at the Broadford Bridge site, according to the document, also contains plant starch, baking soda, lemon or lime juice, common salt, as well as more industrial sounding ingredients such as potassium sulphate, cement, silicate, and other compounds designed to inhibit metal corrosion, reduce foam and to restrict bacteria growth.
14 June 2017
UKOG boss expects oil answers on Broadford Bridge in weeks but questions keep coming from local opponents. DrillOrDrop report
Photocall and demonstration outside UKOG’s Broadford Bridge site. DrillOrDrop protest update
What is in the water? UKOG reveals make up of drilling fluid. Proactive investors reports that UKOG has published an inventory of the additives it is using in its drilling fluid. The fluids being used at the Broadford Bridge site, according to the document, also contains plant starch, baking soda, lemon or lime juice, common salt, as well as more industrial sounding ingredients such as potassium sulphate, cement, silicate, and other compounds designed to inhibit metal corrosion, reduce foam and to restrict bacteria growth.
Peaceful protest is our only option say environmental campaigners who feel ‘ignored’. The Argus reports on opposition to drilling at Broadford Bridge. Lorraine Inglis, of Frack Free Sussex, tells the paper: ““Our democratic right has been taken away. We have started with petitions, writing to our MPs, trying to get the Government to take notice. The only avenue left open to is protest which is our legal right under the Human Rights Act. I’m not sure we can achieve what we achieved at Balcombe but we will definitely give it a go”.
IGas statement. IGas announces in a statement to investors that it plans to spud Springs Road and Tinker Lane shale gas wells in fourth quarter of 2017.
Anthony Hilton: US shale revolution makes fracking a must for UK industry. The Evening Standard comments: “A post-Brexit Britain is going to have to exploit every source of wealth to stay afloat. In this, energy costs are key because you can’t make anything without energy. That means fracking whether people like it or not.”
Fracking could be off the agenda after surprise election result. Chronicle Live reports that the UK shale gas industry may struggle to get going and investment will be delayed. It suggests dissent among Conservative ranks may stymie any policy on changing the planning laws for shale developments. The industry body, UKOOG, said the arguments for shale gas were as strong this week as last week and it was “looking forward to working with the new government to help ensure that we realise our ambition to see a mix of energy sources produced here in the UK”.
Friends of the Earth visit frack site. The Blackpool Gazette reports that around 40 members of Friends of the Earth visited Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site at Little Plumpton, near Blackpool.
Middle East fears prompt call for fracking. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by Nick Campbell, of Kirkham-based Inspired Energy, in response to the cutting of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He tells the paper: ““A new domestic source of gas, including onshore shale gas, would help to overcome such problems in the future.” John Hobson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said “In Cuadrilla’s own words the impact of UK shale gas on commodity prices will be insignificant”.
Protesters thanked for ‘bravely’ rescuing family after accident. The West Sussex County Times reports a mother has thanked Broadford Bridge protesters for helping rescue her and her family after they were involved in a car accident.
Not so many anti-frackers. G Cash, writing in the Lancashire Evening Post, says the general election result in Fylde showed that “despite the many far-fetched claims about the threats fracking poses, the people of Fylde are certainly not convinced. If there are that many anti-fracking supporters out there, surely they would have switched their political allegiances in greater numbers and made a strong statement at the ballot box.”
LETTERS: What happened to the anti-fracking vote? Andy Smith and Lorraine Allanson, writing in the Gazette and Herald, point out the failure of anti-fracking candidates to win seats in Noth Yorkshire and Lancashire. Miss Allanson says: Now is the time for us to unite with our local councillors, politicians and gas companies and let’s embrace the shale gas industry to ensure we receive the greatest benefits for our local communities, local work force and local businesses going forward. Graham Marshall repeats his letter to the Yorkshire Post (see below) while David Pasley writes: “The message is perfectly clear, anti-frackers you are not wanted in this community.”
YP Letters: Excited to see pro-fracking Tory MP re-elected. Graham Marshall, of Rosedale Abbey, writes to the Yorkshire Post: “Kevin Hollinrake is to be congratulated for his steadfast and principled support for the UK’s natural gas industry against the propaganda of the eco-extremists from London that falsely claim that a new gas industry would destroy Ryedale and damage our tourism sector.
13 June 2017
Friends of the Earth visits Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. DrillOrDrop protest update.
National Trust and fracking firm square up over test ban on estate. The Times reports that the National Trust is facing a legal challenge after forcing a fracking company to divert around its land when surveying for shale gas (See also DrillOrDrop interview with INEOS Shale executive, Lynn Calder, on this subject on 7/6/2017)
Broadford Bridge 05. A video about oil exploration at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge site and developments throughout the Weald.
YP Letters: Pro-fracking MPs increase their majorities. Shale gas supporter, Lorraine Allanson, writes to the Yorkshire Post “even after all their [fracking opponents’] negative campaigning since the last election in 2015, it is very notable that the two incumbent, shale gas-supporting, Conservative MPs in the Fylde and in Thirsk and Malton were returned to office with substantially more votes than two years ago.
12 June 2017
Cuadrilla accounts: Losses continue as CEO condemns “irresponsible and intimidating” activists. DrillOrDrop report; The Telegraph (Cuadrilla cuts costs to stem losses as shale project faces further opposition); The Business Desk (Court action forces fracking firm to cut workforce by a fifth); DeSmog UK (Fracking company Cuadrilla continues to lose millions, accounts show); Blackpool Gazette (Losses grow for Fylde coast fracking company)
First public meeting on Fylde fracking for two years. DrillOrDrop report on information event at Lowther Pavilion Theatre, Lytham
Theresa May appoints new climate minister as wait for policy “stability” continues. DeSmog UK reports former climate change minister, Nick Hurd, has been moved to the Home Office and replaced by former BEIS minister, Claire Perry.
Preston New Road lock-on protesters found guilty. Edward Thornton, Jared Dunne, Louise Hammond and Joseph Boyd were found guilty of breaching the Public Order Act during a lock-on protest outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. They were each given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £270.
Egdon and IGas acquire PEDL278. Egdon Resources announces it has acquired 50% of PEDL278 in Doncaster and S Yorkshire from Celtique Energie and Investcan. IGas has acquired the other 50%. The deal, approved by the Oil & Gas Authority, was for a nominal cash consideration. It adds 4,695 acres to Egdon’s unconventional resources, now totally about 205,800. The PEDL includes the Kirk Smeaton tight gas discovery and other conventional and unconventional prospects. Proactive Investors
Europa raises £1.3m for onshore and offshore exploration. Europa announces it raised approximately £1.3m from an open share offer. CEO Hugh Mackay said the money would be spent on new wells in its offshore Irelannd licences and at Holmwood (Bury Hill Wood). The company has also applied for permission for oil production at its Wressle site near Scunthorpe. Proactive Investors
Michael Gove ‘entirely unfit’ to be environment secretary, say Greens. The Guardian reports comments by Green Party co-leader, Caroline Lucas, who said it was hard to “think of many politicians as ill-equipped for the role of environment secretary as Michael Gove. His record of voting against measures to halt climate change and his attempt to wipe the subject from our children’s curriculum show him entirely unfit to lead our country in tackling one of the greatest threats we face.”
11 June 2017
What’s happening this week 12-18 June. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking and onshore oil and gas
Cabinet announcements. Michael Gove is the Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom becomes Leader of the Commons, Greg Clark and Sajid Javid keep their posts at Business and Communities Secretaries.
10 June 2017
Protest Update 5-11 June 2017. DrillOrDrop’s compilation of photos from UK protests about fracking and onshore drilling.
9 June 2017
With the last result declared, what does the general election mean for fracking and onshore drilling? DrillOrDrop report
UK heads for a hung parliament. Conservatives are the largest party but don’t have enough seats for a majority government. Catch up on key election results with DrillOrDrop’s live updates
8 June 2017
Live updates on election results from key constituencies with oil and gas plans or sites. DrillOrDrop report
Second legal challenge over Lancs fracking site at Preston New Road goes to Court of Appeal. DrillOrDrop report
Schools in Derbyshire shale gas area break link with INEOS charity running scheme after complaints from parents. DrillOrDrop report
Renewables provide more than half UK electricity for first time. BBC News reports that at lunchtime on 7 June wind, solar, hydro and wood pellet burning supplied 50.7% of UK electricity. With nuclear, low carbon sources were production 72.1% electricity at 2pm.
The author of new book ‘Frackopoly’ is to speak at an event in Edinburgh on Saturday. Energy Voice reports that Wenonah Haunter, executive director of Food and Water Watch US, is promoting her book, Frackopoly, in Edinburgh.
7 June 2017
Interview: INEOS tells opponents “delay tactics won’t work – we’re not going anywhere”. DrillOrDrop report based on interview with INEOS Shale commercial director, Lynn Calder.
Baronet who stood as a Tory candidate and environment investigator attack Conservative manifesto election promises on fracking. DrillOrDrop report
Drilling update for Broadford Bridge. In a statement, UK Oil & Gas Investments PLC said 13⅜ inch steel casing was set and cemented successfully over the Weald Clay section of the Broadford Bridge-1 near Billingshurst in West Sussex. Directional drilling operations, within 12¼ diameter hole, began on the evening of 5 June 2017, the company said. The well has reached a depth of 370+ metres (1200 feet) within the Lower Cretaceous Hastings Beds. The uppermost Kimmeridge Limestone target, KL4, is expected to be cored in around 10-12 days’ time. The well remains on schedule and within budget, the company added.
New documents suggest Angus Energy ‘breached planning’ conditions in Brockham. Spinwatch reports on documents released under a Freedom of Information request which confirm earlier statements by Surrey County Council that Angus Energy needed planning permission to drill a sidetrack well at the Brockham oil site.
Drilling Down with Dodgy Data: Government fracking science scam. Real Media short film of analysis of the MacKay-Stone report
Fracking in the UK: From the Front Line. Real Media short film about the ‘front line’ at Preston New Road, Lancashire
‘Now Fracking is Finally Here, It Can’t be Ignored’: An Interview with Green Party Candidate Tina Rothery. De Smog UK interviews Tina Rothery, anti fracking campaigner and Green Party candidate running against Conservative Mark Menzies in Fylde, Lancashire.
First exploratory well due to be dug, say anti-frackers. The York Press reports that the IGas must drill an exploration well in PEDL146, covering central York, by the end of December 2017. The PEDL also includes villages of Wigginton, Rufforth and Askham Bryan. IGas said it always communicated with local communities before any activity. The Northern Echo (Work on an exploratory fracking well expected in York)
Fury at ‘scare-mongers’ claim. Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review reports on a hustings at which Conservative candidate, Mark Harper, said the Forest of Dean could not be fracked as there was no shale rock in the area. Owen Adams, of the campaign group, Frack Off Our Forest, said “You are contradicting every geological report.” Mr Harper said the anti-fracking campaign was scare-mongering, a claim denied by Frack Off Our Forest.
Weaver Vale candidates appeal for your vote. The Chester Chronicle reports on Weaver Vale, the marginal constituency covering Frodsham, Helsby, Northwich and Runcorn, where fracking is a key issue.
We will have gasfields on our doorstep. Rev David Penney, writing to The Blackpool Gazette, says the Conservative manifesto commitment to frack “should should carry a public health and environmental warning. If they win power tomorrow, a Tory Government will frack the country where you live and overrule one of the main principles of democracy – the will of the majority. We will be living in a dictatorship.”
Most Salford general election candidates ignore constituents. The Salford Star reports that in Salford constituencies there were no public hustings and two surveys by Friends of the Earth and the Greater Manchester Law Centre, which included questions on fracking, were ignored by 9 of the 15 candidates standing in the three seats.
Candidates grilled by public at election husting. Maldon Standard reports on answers from candidates on fracking and other issues, at a public hustings.
Local anger at Lancashire Tory MP’s fracking remarks. Real Media reports that anti-fracking groups in the Fylde have expressed outrage at their Conservative MP, Mark Menzies, over remarks that downplayed the significance of fracking in the county. In an interview to That’s Lancashire, he said fracking concerns were “not anything like to the extent you would think” and overstated his actions on fracking parliament.
US oil firm Halliburton branded ‘obscene’ over unpaid UK internships. The Guardian reports the oil industry company, Halliburton, has been branded “obscene” for advertising unpaid UK internships, which critics say give an unfair advantage to people from privileged backgrounds. The paper says in an advert on its recruitment site, Halliburton said it was seeking “people who want to innovate, achieve, grow and lead” for student internships at its office in Chiswick, west London. The company reported revenues of $16bn last year.
6 June 2017
Residents’ group wins right to continue legal challenge to ministerial approval of fracking at Preston New Road near Blackpool, Lancs. DrillOrDrop report, BBC News (7/6/2017), Blackpool Gazette (7/6/2017)
Supplier to Lancashire shale gas site pulls out of contract after single delivery. DrillOrDrop report
Vandals attack fracking firm’s headquarters. The Blackpool Gazette reports that policing are investigating after vandals sprayed “Cuadkilla” and “scum” on windows at Cuadrilla’s Bamber Bridge offices. Francis Egan, the company’s chief executive, told the paper:
“This pathetic, mindless stunt in vandalising our head office highlights the intimidation and criminal tactics frequently resorted to by anti-fracking activists.
“The rational basis for their opposition is as lacking as their respect for the law or for others. We are getting on with our work developing shale gas for the benefit of Lancashire and the UK and will support the police in investigating this criminal act.”
Security guard pleads guilty to common assault, says campaign group. Don’t Drill Antrim Water reports that a security guard working for the company employed by InfraStrata at Woodburn Forest in Northern Ireland has pleaded guilty to common assault. It was alleged that the guard assaulted a pensioner protesting against InfraStrata’s activities at Woodburn Forest. Stop the Drill said: “The court has upheld the right to protest. Private security firms are not above the law. The security company and InfraStrata, in our view, have many questions to answer regarding the conduct of their staff.” More here
Upton anti-fracking group backs Labour’s Chris Matheson. The Chester Chronicle reports Frack Free Upton is backing Labour’s candidate, Chris Matheson, to be re-elected as Chester’s MP. He had a 93-vote majority at the last election. The group said it received good responses from the Lib Dem’s Lizzie Jewkes but nothing from the Conservative, Will Gallagher. He told the Chronicle he was opposed to fracking in Chester. The Greens are not standing in this seat.
Anti-fracking group demonstrates at Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn. The Lancashire Telegraph reports on an anti-fracking demonstration by Keep East Lancashire Frack Free.
From Australia to the Isle of Wight – how to ‘defeat the fossil fuel industry’. On The Wight reports on the screening of The Bentley Effect at Arreton on Sunday 11 June.
Frome’s Green county councillor gains seat on Regulation Committee. The Frome Times reports that Frome councillors, John Clarke and Martin Dimery, the first Green candidates elected to Somerset County Council, have joined the opposition benches. Clarke, an opponent of fracking, has been allocated a seat on the Regulation committee which discusses, among many other things, fracking sites planned in Somerset.
5 June 2017
Three arrested at first lock-on protest at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil exploration site near Billingshurst in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report on protest and Greet the Dawn ceremony to mark World Environment Day.
US anti-fracker to visit county drill site. The Blackpool Gazette reports Wenonah Hunter, head of Food and Water Watch and author of a new book Frackopoly, is to meet opponents of shale gas at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on Tuesday 6 June. She talks about her book on the environmental and public health issues of fracking at an event at the Mystery Tea House, Canon Street, Preston, at 7pm.
Campaigners turn out in support as Barclays bank protester appears in Bristol court. The Bristol Post reports campaigners turned out in the pouring rain to support an activist who was facing criminal charges at a Bristol court after scaling Barclays Bank at Broadmead in Stroud in an anti-fracking protest.
Tory candidate accuses campaign group of ‘scaremongering’ over fracking. The Warrington Guardian reports on claims by Friends of the Earth that 199 constituencies could see drilling without the need for planning permission if the Conservatives are elected. The party’s Warrington South candidate, David Mowat, responded:
“There is a small site on the edge of Penketh, which has been using unconventional drilling for the last seven years. I’ve never received a single complaint about the operation of the site and most people don’t even know it’s there. This sort of scaremongering is deeply unhelpful.”
BACK FRACK AND WHACKED Labour-supporting union backs fracking in pre-Election snub to Jeremy Corbyn who opposes it. The Sun reports the GMB union repeated its support for fracking, saying it was “time to live in the real world” and get behind the shale gas revolution because, the union said, it would cut energy bills and emissions. Morning Star
UKOOG response to the UK’s liquefied natural gas supply. Ken Cronin, chief executive of the industry group UK Onshore Oil and Gas, responded to the decision by Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. In a statement to journalists, he said
“The current political situation regarding Qatar and its Middle Eastern neighbours shows why the UK needs to urgently get on with developing the extensive gas resource beneath our feet. According to the most recent Government figures, nearly 30% of the gas we import comes from Qatar  as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The energy losses associated with the liquefying, transportation across oceans and continents and regasification of imported LNG upon arrival add a large and unnecessary emission factor when compared to domestically produced gas.”
4 June 2017
What’s happening this week? 5-11 June 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking, shale gas and onshore drilling.
2 June 2017
Notts shale update: legal agreements published + extra restrictions on seismic surveys. DrillOrDrop report
Claims of unpredictable policing at Broadford Bridge oil drilling protest. DrillOrDrop report
1 June 2017
First rig in place at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report on installation of the conductor rig at Preston New Road to site the first casing of the well.
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